Most people have, at some point in their lives, had to go for a visit with their dentist for a dental checkup. For those who haven’t, it’s likely that they either suffer from dentophobia (a fear of dentists) or simply haven’t had the financial wherewithal to do so, in most cases resulting in unhealthy dental habits and poor oral health. If you’re about to embark on your first dental checkup, or it’s been so long you’ve forgotten what they’re all about, then this guide will help ease some concerns about what to expect.
What Should I Expect During My Checkup?
Dental checkups are simple affairs, typically not involving more than a quick discussion with your dentist about your oral health and some routine maintenance on your teeth and gums. Throughout the exam, your dentist will identify problem areas and help instruct you on how to improve your oral health and prevent future occurrences of cavities, abscesses, gingivitis, and periodontitis between visits. They’ll particularly focus on those areas where they see issues during the visit to help you reverse or at least stop the advance of these concerns so you can enjoy a long life with healthy teeth and simple visits to the dentist.
A Good Routine Keeps Your Teeth and Gums Clean
It’s common that even those who have exceptional dental hygiene habits will develop tartar on their teeth, even if only in small amounts. Tartar is a hard substance that forms on your teeth when plaque is allowed to remain, and it’s impossible to remove with a normal brushing routine. Your dentist has a special tool called a scaler that can remove the tartar without causing any damage to your enamel, and it can also get down below the gumline where hidden tartar deposits can form. A gentle paste with a mild abrasive will be applied to your teeth once the tartar is removed to help create a smooth surface on your teeth that will help prevent plaque from forming.
A Close Eye On Your Oral Health
Once the cleaning process has been completed the dentist will take some time to perform a close inspection of your teeth and gums to ensure there’s no sign of any decay. Discoloration of your teeth, portions of missing material, and red and puffy gums are all signs that there may be greater problems on the horizon. They may also discover signs of teeth grinding (which can happen subconsciously or even while you’re asleep) or find that your TMJ (The temporomandibular joint) is clicking, an early sign that treatment may be necessary. Additionally, they’ll perform a final check of your palate, neck, lips, tongue, and lymph glands to ensure there are no signs of oral cancer.
Dental checkups are typically a painless and important part of your oral health regimen, and you can start yours by picking up the phone and calling the professionals at the Rockdale Smile Center in Rockdale Texas. Dr. David K. Pendleton has been serving this community for most of his career and is proud to have helped hundreds of patients maintain a lifetime of good oral health.